The Big 12 is nearing its silver anniversary as it is
in its 24th year in 2019-20 as one of the nation’s
premier athletic conferences under the direction
of eighth-year commissioner Bob Bowlsby.
TCU and West Virginia joined the league on July 1, 2012 and
became the Big 12’s first additions since inception, joining
Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma
State, Texas and Texas Tech.
With 10 members, the Big 12 remains as the only autonomy
conference to determine its champions in all sports
directly on the field of play with a full round-robin schedule.
The Conference’s hard work ethic and strong values have
translated to enormous success in its first 22 years.
Since it began competition in 1996-97, the league
can boast of 63 NCAA team titles and 664 individual
The Big 12 has been at the forefront in college athletics
reform, specifically with student-athlete welfare
issues to include cost of attendance, student-athlete
time demands and strengthening its policy for concussion
diagnosis and management. In 2014-15, the Big 12
introduced and hosted three “State of Collegiate Athletics”
forums to examine the issues facing college athletics. Two were conducted in
Washington, D.C and one in New York City. Panelists included respected authorities
from intercollegiate athletics, university leadership and sports journalism. The
third forum featured a special session comprised of student-athletes. The Big
12 has continued the “State of Collegiate Athletics” forums the past five seasons
with Dallas serving as the host site for three events and one staged in Atlanta.
The award-winning Big 12 Champions for Life, an initiative of the Conference,
begins its fifth year in 2019-20. It features student-athletes, selected by league
institutions, in a series of public service announcements highlighting the positive
impact an athletics scholarship has had on their lives leading to stories of
personal growth and success.
The Big 12 was the only conference to place a team in the Final Four and CFP
semifinals in both 2017-18 and 2018-19. Texas Tech played in the 2019 national
championship game while Kansas competed in the 2018 Final Four. Oklahoma
was in the CFP semifinals in both seasons. Additionally, the Big 12 was the lone
conference that had teams play in the 2019 men’s (Texas Tech) and women’s
(Baylor) Final Fours, and the NIT (Texas, TCU) and WNIT (TCU) semifinals. Baylor
won the women’s basketball national title while Texas was the NIT champion. The
Big 12 also claimed both of the Associated Press basketball coaches of the year
as Kim Mulkey (Baylor) captured the women’s award while Chris Beard (Texas
Tech) picked up the men’s honor.
In addition to Baylor’s women’s basketball crown, national championships were
won by Texas Tech men’s outdoor track & field, Texas men’s tennis and Oklahoma
women’s gymnastics while Iowa State claimed the National Invitation Volleyball
Tournament. NCAA runner-up finishes besides Texas Tech men’s basketball included
UT men’s swimming & diving and men’s golf along with OU softball.
The Big 12 placed 70% of its teams in 2018 bowl games highlighted by No. 2
Oklahoma competing in the CFP Semifinal at the Orange Bowl and a Texas win
over No. 5 Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. The Big 12 has made eight appearances in
a CFP News Year’s Bowl in the five years of the structure, including OU and UT
in 2018. The Sooners made their second-straight CFP semifinal appearance and
third in four years.
Additionally, the Big 12 added its seventh Heisman Trophy winner since 1996
when Kyler Murray (Oklahoma) took home the award, following former Sooner
QB Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) in 2017. The Conference has
had a finalist in 15 of its seasons for a total of 20 with two
finalists in five seasons. Thirty-nine major individual awards
have been won by Big 12 student-athletes in football over
the past nine campaigns. Overall, more than 4,800 studentathletes
have earned All-America recognition.
The Big 12 and its member institutions are committed to a
competitive environment where sportsmanship and fair play
take center stage. Whether on the field, in the classroom,
or within the community, the student-athletes, administrators,
coaches and game officials of the Big 12 support the
highest ideals in sportsmanship.
National academic accolades have always been
strong in the Big 12. Ty Darlington (Oklahoma) was
the recipient of the 2015 William V. Campbell Trophy,
known as the Academic Heisman. Jevon Carter (West
Virginia) was presented the NCAA Today’s Top 10 Award
in January 2019. It recognizes former student-athletes
for their successes on the fields and courts, in the
classroom and in the community. Since 1996, the
Big 12 has a total of 12 honorees for this prestigious
award. In the last eight seasons, 19 student-athletes
were recipients of the NCAA Elite 90 Award with Baylor’s Lauren Cox (women’s
basketball) and Colin Kober (men’s golf), Oklahoma State’s Sofia Blanco (women’s
tennis), Texas’ Johnny Goodwin (men’s tennis) and Texas Tech’s Davide Moretti
(men’s basketball), picking up the most recent honors in 2017-18. The accolade
showcases individuals who have reached the pinnacle of competition at the
national championship level, while also achieving the highest academic standard
among their peers.
In its short history, the Big 12 has over 680 Academic All-America recipients,
averaging about 30 each season. Big 12 student-athletes have shown commitment
to their studies by earning numerous individual academic recognitions.
Fourteen times in the past 15 years a league athlete has garnered the top academic
honor for their respective sport, including Jevon Carter (West Virginia) for men’s
basketball in 2017-18 and Bianca St. Georges (West Virginia) for soccer in 2018-19.
Competitive excellence, scholarship and sportsmanship are all equal components
of the Big 12 philosophy. All-Big 12 teams and Academic All-Big 12 squads are
recognized for each sport at the end of their respective seasons. At the end of each
academic year, the Conference honors its top male and female student-athletes
with the Big 12 Athlete of the Year and Big 12 Sportsperson of the Year awards.
Institutions can also nominate student-athletes for the prestigious Dr. Prentice
Gautt Postgraduate Scholarships. A total of 441 scholars have received over $3.3
million in postgraduate financial aid through the first 23 years of the program.
The Big 12 sponsors 23 sports. Men’s squads include baseball, basketball,
cross country, football, golf, indoor track & field, outdoor track & field, swimming
& diving, tennis and wrestling. Women’s teams are fielded in basketball, cross
country, equestrian, golf, gymnastics, indoor track & field, outdoor track & field,
rowing, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis and volleyball.
Big 12 institutions create a league that encompasses five states and nearly 38
million people. Nearly 5,000 student-athletes from across the United States and
around the World compete annually in the sports sponsored by the Conference.
The Conference currently conducts postseason championships for 21 of its 23
sports with the Football Championship Game returning in 2017 after a six-year
absence. Each championship helps to determine teams and/or individuals that
will represent the Conference in national postseason competition.
The Conference office is headquartered in Irving, Texas.
BIG 12 CONFERENCE
42 DECEMBER 31, 2019 / OFFICIAL GAME PROGRAM